West Gate Tunnel construction to begin in Q1 2018

A CPB/John Holland joint venture will commence construction on the West Gate Tunnel next month, now expected to cost $6.7 billion – about $1.2 billion above its original estimated cost, with the Victorian Government finalising contracts on the project this week.
The builders have begun moving into a construction compound in Footscray where they’ll begin work on the northern tunnel portal.
A statement from the state government said the six-lane tunnel will take thousands of trucks off residential streets in the inner west, slash congestion along the M1 corridor from Pakenham to Geelong and create thousands of Victorian jobs.
The final design approved for construction will cost $6.7 billion, which the Victorian Government said in the statement is due to tunnels now twice as long as the original business case to “improve traffic flow and protect homes, better city connections, additional noise walls, the creation of massive new open spaces and more cycling paths, and extending air quality monitoring for 10 years”.
Construction of the new road tunnel will be partly funded with a ten-year extension of the CityLink Concession deed.
According to the government, this partnership has been assessed as high value for taxpayers and for drivers, with tolls increasing at a lower rate than agreed by the previous Liberal government to fund the CityLink-Tulla Widening Project.
Legislation to operate the new road tunnel, and amendments to the CityLink concession deed, will be introduced into Parliament before the road is complete in 2022.
In addition to the business case released in 2015, the government this week released key documents, including a project summary, concession deed amendments, an exposure draft of the West Gate Tunnel Bill and the value for money assessment. The government will also shortly release the contracts between Transurban and the State.
The project is anticipated to be finished in 2022.

Route confirmed for North East Link

The Victorian Government has confirmed the route for Melbourne’s North East Link, which it anticipates will be the biggest transport project in the state’s history.
The North East Link will begin on the Eastern Freeway at Springvale Road, where the capacity of the Eastern will be doubled with six extra dedicated lanes to eliminate some of eastern Melbourne’s worst bottlenecks.
A statement from the office of Premier Daniel Andrews said the expanded Eastern Freeway section will remain toll-free under the Andrews Labor Government.
Heading west, the freeway will connect to a new six-lane tunnel at Bulleen, with local underground connections at Banksia St and Manningham Road.
The five kilometre-long tunnel will then travel deep beneath the Yarra River, protecting environmentally sensitive parkland and residential areas.
There will be a local connection at Lower Plenty Road, with the North East Link then running north alongside the existing Greensborough Highway, which will stay open for local traffic.
A new interchange will see the North East Link travel beneath Grimshaw Street in Watsonia, before seamlessly connecting to the M80 Ring Road at Greensborough, which is also being widened.
“People have been talking about connecting the Ring Road and the Eastern Freeway for decades but it’s always been put in the too-hard basket – not anymore,” said Andrews in the statement.
“This is the biggest transport project in Victoria’s history – our state needs it and only Labor will get it done.”
The statement said the travel times between Melbourne’s north and south will be cut by up to 30 minutes in each direction, with travel time savings for people travelling to Melbourne Airport from the south and east.
It also anticipated that congestion on local roads in the north eastern suburbs will also be slashed, with up to 15,000 trucks taken off local streets a day, and more than 9,000 vehicles taken off hotspots like Rosanna Road.
The business case is yet to be finalised, but the statement said early cost estimates on the project range up to $16.5 billion – the single biggest transport infrastructure investment in the state’s history.
Detailed design will now get under way and the business case, including finalising cost estimates, will be released ahead of the 2018/19 Victorian Budget.

MNX Global Logistics acquires Logical Freight Solutions

Melbourne-based logistics provider to the life sciences industry Logical Freight Solutions (LFS) has accepted an offer to be acquired by global logistics services provider MNX Global Logistics.
“The pace of growth in patient-centric medicine, with its strict requirements for temperature-controlled transportation and time-definite delivery, underscores the role that specialty time-critical logistics providers will continue to play in the life sciences and healthcare industries,” said Paul J. Martins, CEO, MNX. “LFS shares our customer-centric culture and geographic footprint. This combination allows our new and existing customers to experience an expanded suite of logistics services tailored specifically for the healthcare, life sciences, and medical device industries around the world.”
Steve Cheetham, CEO, LFS, is enthusiastic about the potential for the combined business.
“Since its inception, Logical Freight Solutions has steadily built an infrastructure and specialised expertise that provides our customers with true door-to-door service, from internal supplier to end-user,” said Cheetham. “Joining MNX further propels the growth of our business and service offerings across new geographies, and gives our customers access to a diversified range of logistics services and new technologies.”
The acquisition is part of a series of strategic moves to drive global growth and provide exceptional service to healthcare and life sciences customers, LFS said in a statement.

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WWL and Prixcar in deal for land-based business in Australia

Shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA (WWL) will sell its inland transportation and technical service business in Australia to Australian vehicle storage and transportation company Prixcar, in exchange for a 20 per cent ownership share in Prixcar.
WWL will remain an active participant in the market through board representation and close cooperation with Prixcar.
Prixcar provides finished vehicle logistic services in Australia with a nationwide footprint. Its primary focus is inland transportation and technical services for the auto segment, complementing WWL’s focus on the heavy truck, rolling equipment and machinery segment. The joint business is expected to have an annual turnover in excess of $250 million and a team of over 1,000.
“This transaction and our new partnership with the Prixcar Group will increase the scale and geographic reach of our Landbased activities in Australia, providing our customers with an enhanced product,” said Craig Jasienski, President and CEO, WWL ASA.
Alan Miles, Chairman, Prixcar Services, added, “The joining of these two companies – both sharing similar values with a strong focus on safety, people, innovation, environment, and our customers – will assist in enabling the group to further expand its ability in creating value for its employees, customers and business partners, offering an expanded range of both services and locations.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in Australia, and expected to close in Q1 2018.
The transaction does not include WWL’s Terminal business, for example the Melbourne International Ro-Ro Automotive Terminal (MIRRAT).

Inland Rail project to impact industrial market: report

The Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail project is anticipated to transform the movement of freight around the country and significantly impact industrial property, its users and providers across regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, as found by research carried out by commercial real estate company, Colliers International.
According to the findings of the Colliers Radar: The Melbourne – Brisbane Inland Rail report, the 1,700km Inland Rail project – planned for completion in 2024/25 – is expected to result in potential creation of new intermodal facilities and transport and logistic hubs in key strategic locations; the relocation and/or emergence of inter-capital freight users to key strategic locations; potential uplift in industrial land values for precincts in proximity to the rail route (occupier-led demand); and higher importance placed around the existing Ports of Brisbane and Melbourne.
“From commercial property perspective, the regions which are most likely to benefit from the completion of the Inland Rail are Darling Downs, Acacia Ridge and Bromelton in Queensland, Tottenham in Victoria and Parkes in New South Wales,” said Malcom Tyson, Managing Director – Industrial, Colliers International.
“We are likely to see increased activity along the Inland Rail route from the inter-capital freight users such as Linfox, CEVA Logistics, Toll Holdings, DB Schenker, DHL, Woolworths, Coles, GrainCorp, Bluescope and Visy.”
Tyson noted that the benefits for these users would range from operating cost savings, time savings, improved reliability, improved availability and resilience to incidents.
“In line with this, providers of the intermodal transport and logistic hubs and industrial estates may also emerge to cater for the increased demand and relocation requirements from these users,” he added.
“These providers might fall into service industry sectors such as cold-store warehousing, grain and commodities storage, rail maintenance, container park, food processing facilities, freight handling facilities, distribution centres and inland container storage facilities.”
Matthew Frazer-Ryan, National Director – Industrial, Colliers International, added, “There is compelling evidence pointing towards the positive correlation between new infrastructure projects (i.e. when committed and under construction) and associated uplift in industrial land value in a region.
“The importance of these projects to improve accessibility of freight to the area is also likely to positively impact on the potential rental value of the industrial property in the region.”
Frazer-Ryan added that this has been evidenced Melbourne during the CityLink Tulla Widening project and the beginning of the West Gate Tunnel project – directly impacting transport and logistic operators in the region and leading to an uplift in values.
In Brisbane, he added, this was evident with the completion of the Gateway Upgrade, which saw land values in the Australia TradeCoast rise upon announcement of the project.
In Sydney, the Westlink M7 Motorway construction saw average annual land value growth in the M7 catchment area of around 22 per cent over the three-year period.
“As a result, we would anticipate that as firms begin to look to these middle suburban ring and outer regional areas supported by the completion of the Inland Rail, stronger demand should lead to increasing land values and overall industrial property performance over the long-term,” added Frazer-Ryan.

VTA calls for safety rethink on Port of Melbourne access

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has labelled plans to develop an on-road cycling path on Lorimer Street in a future Fishermans Bend precinct “irresponsible recipe for disaster.”
A draft of the Fishermans Bend Framework released late last month by Planning Minister Richard Wynne and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley contains recommendations for cycling and other infrastructure to support the 80,000 people and jobs the Victorian Government hopes to attract to the new precinct.
The draft contains a map of existing and proposed cycling infrastructure, including a north-south strategic cycling corridor connecting to a new Lorimer Street on-road cycling path between the Bolte and West Gate Bridge.
“Lorimer Street is a gazetted freight route for heavy vehicles and is intensively used by trucks of up to 70 tonnes travelling between Webb Dock and road and rail freight infrastructure closer to town,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, Victorian Transport Association.
“It is also home to numerous concrete suppliers that are visited by hundreds of trucks every day that deliver to building sites throughout Melbourne.”
He added that while the VTA fully supports infrastructure that encourages commuters onto bikes and away from cars, the only gazetted freight route servicing the south side of the Port of Melbourne is “the last place we should be putting a shared path.”
“It’s an irresponsible recipe for disaster to encourage cycling on a road so intensively used by heavy vehicles, and is the precise opposite of what we recommended in early consultations,” he added. “For planners to have included an on-road cycling path on Lorimer Street in the draft framework defies logic.”
The VTA has previously advised the government in its precinct planning to encourage cycling and pedestrian traffic to Williamstown Road, and to actively separate heavy vehicles from cyclists where possible, as is happening in Melbourne’s west.
“Regardless of who is at fault, the cyclist will always be worse off in a collision with a truck, so why on earth would you encourage their close interaction on a shared roadway?” Anderson said. “Elsewhere in Melbourne, we are actively separating bicycles from trucks on freight routes so it stands to reason we should be doing this in Fishermans Bend precinct planning.”
Anderson welcomed objectives in the draft to safeguard port access by preserving a direct road and rail corridor between Webb, Swanson and Appleton Docks and the Dynon Road freight terminal.

SmartFreight shipping software on show at MEGATRANS2018

As a provider of cutting-edge shipping management software, SmartFreight is an ideal fit for the inaugural logistics and supply chain event, MEGATRANS2018.
The company’s comprehensive software solution provides versatility, transparency, accountability and efficiency for its users within the supply chain – complementing MEGATRANS218’s own aim to provide a vital link between the industries comprising Australia’s supply chain.
Connecting the Australian and international supply chain, the trade show will bring together those who plan, implement and control the efficient and effective forward flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and point of consumption.
MEGATRANS2018 takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10–12 May 2018 and will play host to an array of delegates involved in the wider national and international supply chain industries.

2018 Mercury Awards to recognise supply chain excellence

After a brief hiatus, the Logistics & Materials Handling Mercury Awards will be relaunched in 2018 for the ninth annual instalment, in partnership with MEGATRANS2018.
The Awards, featuring a new design, will recognise the outstanding achievements and successes of companies across the logistics, supply chain and materials handling sectors.
The Mercury Awards is the official awards program of MEGATRANS2018, a business-to-business trade event focusing on the freight and logistics supply chain. MEGATRANS2018 incorporates all forms of freight transport, logistics and materials handling, infrastructure and storage and warehousing, providing perfect alignment with the Mercury Awards.
Twelve awards will recognise outstanding individuals and organisations across the supply chain:

  • Supply Chain Innovator of the Year
  • Safety Advocate of the Year
  • Best Technology Application
  • Sustainability Initiative Award
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Road
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Rail
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Air
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Sea
  • Outstanding Graduate Program
  • Best Storage Solution
  • Best Infrastructure Innovation
  • Victorian Government ‘Contribution to Industry’ Award

The 2018 Mercury Awards sponsors include the Victorian Government, the Port of Melbourne and SICK. Sponsorship opportunities are still available; for more information please contact Simon Coburn on 03 9690 8766 or simon.coburn@primecreative.com.au.
Nominations details will be announced soon.

Toyota Material Handling to celebrate 50th anniversary at MEGATRANS2018

Toyota Material Handling Australia has signed on with MEGATRANS2018 to showcase not only its current suite of products, but also some exciting new additions set to hit the market in 2018.
The company offers a wide range of forklifts and battery-electric warehouse products to the Australian industry, catering to the varying needs of material handling businesses around the nation.
Toyota Material Handling Australia National Sales & Product Manager – Automation Tony Raggio attributes the diversity of MEGATRANS2018 as an aspect of the multi-modal supply chain trade show that attracted the materials handling specialist
“The main fact for us was, as the show is diverse, it will appeal to not only potential forklift customers, but also customers considering automation as part of their future business,” said Raggio.
“People have always associated Toyota Material Handling as a forklift company. We would use MEGATRANS2018 to show customers our new automation products for 2018, including our Autopilot ‘driverless forklifts’, which we are planning on showcasing.”
Raggio said that because the event covers a wide array of sectors within the Australian supply chain and logistics sector, the decision to exhibit at MEGATRANS2018 was a significant one.
“With people now having access to information at their fingertips it’s important to be very selective when deciding which exhibition to exhibit in. We chose MEGATRANS2018 as we felt it would attract clients that would be interested in our now very wide range of material handling equipment products.”
Raggio added that the show is great chance for Toyota Material Handling to catch up with existing and new customers and suppliers.
“It’s also a great opportunity for us to thank our customers for their patronage over the past 50 years and for helping to make Toyota the number-one forklift brand in Australia – according to industry sales statistics,” he added.
In addition to the new products the company will exhibit at the show, 2018 represents the fiftieth anniversary of the first Toyota forklift sold in Australia so the company will have some special celebrations planned for MEGATRANS2018, with more information on these celebrations to be released closer to the date.
MEGATRANS2018 takes place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10-12 May 2018.

DPWA appoints executives to Melbourne and Sydney Terminals

DP World Australia has announced the appointment of executives for the General Manager – Operations position at its Melbourne and Sydney terminals.
Robert Snow joins as General Manager – Operations at the Melbourne terminal, effective 30 October. He brings with him over 20 years’ experience in the logistics and transport industry. He was previously Chief Operations Officer at APM Terminals for the Aqaba Container Terminal in Jordan.
The new General Manager – Operations for the Sydney terminal is Bas Hokke, previously Vice President – Group Operations at Asian Terminals Incorporated (ATI), part of the DP World Group in the Philippines. Hokke brings with him more than three decades of global ports experience. He will enter the role on 22 November.
DPWA Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, Max Kruse, thanked Rowan Bullock and Ray Lee, who have been acting in the roles during DPWA’s global search for the roles.
“Their professionalism, guidance and leadership was invaluable to the teams in Melbourne and Sydney, and to the wider Operations Team, and we are incredibly grateful for their support,” Kruse said. “Rowan and Ray will provide a detailed handover to the new General Managers – Operations, and will continue to lend us their knowledge and experience through an ongoing working relationship with the Operations Team, beyond their respective departures.
“Thank you to Rowan and Ray, and a very warm welcome to Robert and Bas.”

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